Low-cost technologies for coastal monitoring

Marco Marcelli1,2, Valentina Cafaro3, Alice Madonia1,2, Lorenzo Pasculli1, Viviana Piermattei1,2, Andrea Terribili3 and Riccardo Valentini4,5, (1)Laboratory of Experimental Oceanology and Marine Ecology, University of Tuscia, Civitavecchia (RM), Italy, (2)Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Lecce, Italy, (3)Consorzio Universitario per la Ricerca Socioeconomica e per l’Ambiente (CURSA), Roma, Italy, (4)Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change, Viterbo, Italy, (5)University of Tuscia, DIBAF, Viterbo, Italy
Marine coastal ecosystems monitoring drew the attention of the scientific community over the world requiring a multidisciplinary and integrated approach. Modelling marine coastal dynamics and processes and the development of new technologies oriented to remote sensing data validation represent topics to which the main effort has been concentrated, in order to satisfy the large amount of data required for integrated approaches.
Moreover, the need of new observing technologies and networks is a huge priority of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and of 2030 Agenda strategy to enhance the understanding of ocean processes for the sustainable management of marine ecosystems and future climate change scenarios. However, many of the GOOS existing programmes (ARGO, DPCP, GO-SHIP, OceanSITES, SOOP) are focused on open ocean waters and do not cover coastal and shelf areas which require an extensive monitoring. To do this a strong reduction in platforms and instruments costs is needed maintaining sufficient measurement accuracy and consequently data quality.
An Arduino technology based on the TT-Cloud (Tree-Talker-Cloud) board was developed; TT-Cloud is an Arduino mega 2560 based main unit including data acquisition and transmission system to monitor trees health and impacts of climate change. Starting from this technology it was developed a new low-cost board, MT-Cloud (Marine-Talker-Cloud), which is characterised by a high modularity that allows to manage sensors using different types of communication protocols: RS232, UART, I2C, RS485; analogue sensors can be managed using several channels equipped with 24bit AD converters. The developed system can be equipped with internal temperature and battery status sensors, GPS antenna and triaxial accelerometer.
Depending on the site characteristics and opportunities, the data transmission system can be LoRa, WiFi, GPRS/GSM or cable, furthermore data can be stored on SIM card.
The MT-Cloud is designed to be used in different modes: standalone, from ship as a profiler, on buoys and other measuring platforms.
This work presents some examples where MT-Cloud has been applied in different operating modes, with different missions and instrumental configurations.